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16 Facts About the Washington Monument

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The Washington Monument is an obelisk on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., built to commemorate George Washington, once commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and the first American president.

George Washington was the first President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

The Continental Army was formed by the Second Continental Congress after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the colonies that became the United States of America.

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as "Washington", "the District", or simply "D.C.", is the capital of the United States.

Amazing Facts of the Washington Monument by geobeats

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Located almost due east of the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial, the monument, made of marble, granite, and bluestone gneiss, is both the world's tallest stone structure and the world's tallest obelisk, standing 554 feet 7 11⁄32 inches tall according to the National Geodetic Survey or 555 feet 5 1⁄8 inches tall according to the National Park Service.

The National Park Service is an agency of the United States federal government that manages all U.S. national parks, many American national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations.

Marble is a metamorphic rock that may be foliated or non-foliated, composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite.

The Lincoln Memorial is an American national monument built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.

First look inside repaired Washington Monument by CBS This Morning

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In 1975, a ramp covered a step at the entrance to the monument, so the ground next to the ramp was raised to match its height, reducing the remaining height to the monument's apex.

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The obelisk was originally intended by its designer to stand 600 feet tall, but questions regarding the design of the foundations caused the height to be set lower by the time the building was eventually completed.

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It is the tallest monumental column in the world if all are measured above their pedestrian entrances, but two are taller when measured above ground, though they are neither all stone nor true obelisks.

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Construction of the monument began in 1848, and was halted from 1854 to 1877 due to a lack of funds, a struggle for control over the Washington National Monument Society, and the intervention of the American Civil War.

The American Civil War was a civil war in the United States fought from 1861 to 1865.

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Although the stone structure was completed in 1884, internal ironwork, the knoll, and other finishing touches were not completed until 1888.

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A difference in shading of the marble, visible approximately 150 feet or 27% up, shows where construction was halted and later resumed with marble from a different source.

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The original design was by Robert Mills, but he did not include his proposed colonnade due to a lack of funds, proceeding only with a bare obelisk.

In classical architecture, a colonnade denotes a long sequence of columns joined by their entablature, often free-standing, or part of a building.

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Despite many proposals to embellish the obelisk, only its original flat top was altered to a pointed marble pyramidion, in 1884.

A pyramidion is the uppermost piece or capstone of an Egyptian pyramid or obelisk, in archaeological parlance.

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The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1848; the first stone was laid atop the unfinished stump on August 7, 1880; the capstone was set on December 6, 1884; the completed monument was dedicated on February 21, 1885; and officially opened October 9, 1888.

The cornerstone concept is derived from the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation, important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.

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Upon completion, it became the world's tallest structure, a title previously held by the Cologne Cathedral.

Cologne Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Cologne, Germany.

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The monument held this designation until 1889, when the Eiffel Tower was completed in Paris, France.

The Eiffel Tower is a wrought iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France.

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The monument was damaged during the 2011 Virginia earthquake and Hurricane Irene in the same year and remained closed to the public while the structure was assessed and repaired.

Hurricane Irene was a large and destructive tropical cyclone, which affected much of the Caribbean and East Coast of the United States during late August 2011.

The 2011 Virginia earthquake occurred on August 23 at 1:51:04 p.m. local time in the Piedmont region of the US state of Virginia.

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After 32 months of repairs, the National Park Service and the Trust for the National Mall reopened the Washington Monument to visitors on May 12, 2014.

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As of September 2016, the monument has been closed indefinitely due to reliability issues with the current elevator system.

An elevator or lift is a type of vertical transportation that moves people or goods between floors of a building, vessel, or other structure.

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